I have a quandary. I don’t talk about my religion much on this blog, for somewhat obvious reasons. I want it to be a safe place for all of my readers regardless of their religious background. But at the moment, I’m struggling with an issue and it helps me to write about it, so please bear with me.
I’m on the horns of a dilemma with my religious life. You see, I’ve found a lovely little church here in my adopted hometown. They’re terrific people and they make me feel warmly welcomed whenever I attend. Like all churches, we have some challenges, not the least of which is that we’re pretty small and it’s difficult to accomplish all the things we want to do, because we simply don’t have the scale and enough energy (read: volunteers) to carry out our vision.
To solve that (and for a myriad of other reasons I won’t detail here), we’re in talks to merge with another congregation. It’s a long story, because our church was formed by a group that split off from this other congregation in the first place. It’s personally complicated for me because the likely meeting site is a long way from where I live, out in the country, and on a two-lane county highway that I suspect isn’t very hospitable in the winter time. In fact, I had initially thought about attending this other church when we first moved here and opted not to because of the distance.
I’m also concerned because I suspect that if we do merge the congregations, the things that attracted me to this congregation in the first place may change. It’s our warm welcome, our friendly nature, and the fact that we make everyone feel comfortable in our midst, that made me want to be part of it in the first place. Without that, my church home won’t feel like “home.”
Perhaps I’m letting my fear get ahead of me – after all, no decision has yet been made – but I am pretty sure that if we do vote to merge, I’ll be out on my own again, going through the not-so-awesome process of finding a church home. That makes me sad. It also makes me wonder where God is in all of this, and what He/She really wants to see happen here. Was there a grander vision for this little congregation? Or perhaps this was meant to happen all along, and healing the schism from 5 years ago is the right answer?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you experienced the loss of your “spiritual home?” If so, how did you handle it? Would you do it that way again?